A medical laboratory assistant is in charge of performing support tasks while under the supervision and directives of a more experienced medical technician or scientist. Their responsibilities typically revolve around collecting samples such as blood and tissues, preparing slides, running tests using machines and equipment, and maintaining records of all procedures and results. Furthermore, a medical laboratory assistant must also keep the cleanliness of the laboratory, organize and monitor inventories, procure supplies, and implement the laboratory's policies and regulations.

Medical Laboratory Assistant Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real medical laboratory assistant resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Record and input patient information into EHR database, as well as managing appointment scheduling and follow- ups.
  • Ensure and enforce medical office compliance with HIPAA, OSHA, and CLIA regulations for maximum quality and control
  • Adhere to JCAHO confidentiality as well as maintained CLIA and OSHA standards.
  • Monitor lab performance to be in compliance with CLIA requirements.
  • Ensure CLIA standards are compliant and assist annual state inspectors during their surveys.
  • Assist with paps, wet preps, microscope set-up, EKG testing and change of dressings.
  • Sort, mail job specimens as needed and deliver pathology stat results to doctor's meetings.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in taking and giving accurate vitals, blood draws, injections, EKG'S UA'S.
  • Requisition documentation for emergency room!
  • Perform both routine and emergency maintenance on laboratory equipment and instruments.
Medical Laboratory Assistant Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Medical Laboratory Assistant Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, medical laboratory assistant jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 23%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a medical laboratory assistant?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of medical laboratory assistant opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 154,900.

On average, the medical laboratory assistant annual salary is $31,540 per year, which translates to $15.16 an hour. Generally speaking, medical laboratory assistants earn anywhere from $28,000 to $34,000 a year, which means that the top-earning medical laboratory assistants make $6,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a medical laboratory assistant, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a medical clerk, student medical assistant-externship, medical assistant/phlebotomist, and laboratory aide.

Medical Laboratory Assistant Jobs You Might Like

Medical Laboratory Assistant Resume Examples

Medical Laboratory Assistant Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 15% of Medical Laboratory Assistants are proficient in Specimen Collection, Customer Service, and Patient Care. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Detail oriented, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Medical Laboratory Assistants that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Specimen Collection, 15%

    Managed specimen collections to determine process distribution for internal and external clinical analysis and interpretations.

  • Customer Service, 9%

    Participated in a team approach to patient care, working cooperatively with others to achieve productivity standards and exceptional customer service.

  • Patient Care, 8%

    Provided assistance in routine patient care and medically related administrative support activities in the Emergency Department

  • Data Entry, 7%

    Perform quality assurance checks on outpatient requisitions to ensure correctness of data entry.

  • Lab Equipment, 7%

    Maintain lab equipment and troubleshoot/resolve instrument problems under tech supervision.

  • Venipuncture, 5%

    Initiate lab printouts and documentation of labs received Perform venipuncture on patients

Most medical laboratory assistants list "specimen collection," "customer service," and "patient care" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important medical laboratory assistant responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a medical laboratory assistant to have happens to be analytical skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that medical laboratory assistants can use analytical skills to "assisted management in the operation of the laboratory, patient registration and interpret data results. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform medical laboratory assistant duties is the following: detail oriented. According to a medical laboratory assistant resume, "medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information." Check out this example of how medical laboratory assistants use detail oriented: "used the computer system to input patient details, loaded, unloaded and filed specimens onto abbott analysers. "
  • Interpersonal skills is also an important skill for medical laboratory assistants to have. This example of how medical laboratory assistants use this skill comes from a medical laboratory assistant resume, "medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "aided in registering new patients applied interpersonal skills while assisting coworkers with additional office work organized and managed mail"
  • A medical laboratory assistant responsibilities sometimes require "technical skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "medical assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments so they can take a patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure." This resume example shows how this skill is used by medical laboratory assistants: "provide customer service by answering broad technical questions and directing others to appropriate resources. "
  • See the full list of medical laboratory assistant skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a medical laboratory assistant. We found that 22.6% of medical laboratory assistants have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 3.3% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While some medical laboratory assistants have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every three medical laboratory assistants were not college graduates.

    Those medical laboratory assistants who do attend college, typically earn either medical assisting services degrees or biology degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for medical laboratory assistants include clinical/medical laboratory science degrees or nursing degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a medical laboratory assistant. We've found that most medical laboratory assistant resumes include experience from Ascension Health Alliance, BayCare Health System, and LifePoint Health. Of recent, Ascension Health Alliance had 64 positions open for medical laboratory assistants. Meanwhile, there are 32 job openings at BayCare Health System and 10 at LifePoint Health.

    If you're interested in companies where medical laboratory assistants make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at University of Illinois at Chicago, HealthPartners, and Jacinto Medical Group. We found that at University of Illinois at Chicago, the average medical laboratory assistant salary is $33,998. Whereas at HealthPartners, medical laboratory assistants earn roughly $31,761. And at Jacinto Medical Group, they make an average salary of $31,708.

    View more details on medical laboratory assistant salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious medical laboratory assistants are:

      What Medical Clerks Do

      A medical clerk works in the administrative area of a medical facility or hospital. The medical clerk collects all patient information and medical records. The clerk also does all the clinic or hospital paperwork and generates reports of all transactions that transpired in a day's work. The medical clerk also processes admission and discharge papers, medical charts, properly file and safeguard all patient records and secure them from unauthorized access. The medical clerk is expected to be highly organized, capable of handling pressure, and has good communication skills.

      We looked at the average medical laboratory assistant annual salary and compared it with the average of a medical clerk. Generally speaking, medical clerks receive $741 higher pay than medical laboratory assistants per year.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between medical laboratory assistants and medical clerks are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like patient care, data entry, and emergency.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A medical laboratory assistant responsibility is more likely to require skills like "specimen collection," "customer service," "lab equipment," and "venipuncture." Whereas a medical clerk requires skills like "procedures," "phone calls," "telephone calls," and "clerical support." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      On average, medical clerks reach similar levels of education than medical laboratory assistants. Medical clerks are 0.1% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 1.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Student Medical Assistant-Externship?

      Student Medical Assistant Externship is a broad term for catering students for short, reliable, and practical work experience. Once you graduate, you can get a chance to meet contacts that may be useful for your career. You can have a better chance to work in a clinic, hospital, and any medical platform after going through this kind of externship.

      Now we're going to look at the student medical assistant-externship profession. On average, student medical assistant-externships earn a $7,964 lower salary than medical laboratory assistants a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of medical laboratory assistants and student medical assistant-externships are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "patient care," "data entry," and "venipuncture. "

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that medical laboratory assistant responsibilities requires skills like "specimen collection," "customer service," "lab equipment," and "lis." But a student medical assistant-externship might use skills, such as, "surgery," "independent living," "urinalysis," and "front office."

      In general, student medical assistant-externships study at higher levels of education than medical laboratory assistants. They're 5.3% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 1.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Medical Assistant/Phlebotomist Compares

      Medical assistants/phlebotomists are medical personnel who execute administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare facilities or units. They are responsible for providing healthcare to patients such as immunization administration, orthopedic supplies, and wound care. It is part of their job to take the blood of patients for blood testing. They also take charge of handling other medical tests for the upkeep of patients' health. These professionals should exhibit compatibility, initiative, and cohesiveness within the team.

      The medical assistant/phlebotomist profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of medical laboratory assistants. The difference in salaries is medical assistant/phlebotomists making $2,037 lower than medical laboratory assistants.

      Using medical laboratory assistants and medical assistant/phlebotomists resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "specimen collection," "customer service," and "patient care," but the other skills required are very different.

      Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from medical laboratory assistant resumes include skills like "data entry," "lab equipment," "emergency," and "lis," whereas a medical assistant/phlebotomist might be skilled in "office procedures," "front office," "medication administration," and "spirometry. "

      Interestingly enough, medical assistant/phlebotomists earn the most pay in the professional industry, where they command an average salary of $27,906. As mentioned previously, medical laboratory assistants highest annual salary comes from the health care industry with an average salary of $29,313.

      Medical assistant/phlebotomists typically study at similar levels compared with medical laboratory assistants. For example, they're 1.7% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.3% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Laboratory Aide

      A laboratory aide is primarily responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and order in laboratories, all while performing support tasks for scientists. Their duties revolve around arranging specimens and samples, transporting materials from one laboratory to another, preparing apparatuses and machines, and storing them accordingly. A laboratory aide may also run errands, produce progress reports, sanitize areas and instruments, and properly dispose of chemicals and other hazardous waste. Furthermore, it is crucial to implement the laboratory's safety policies and regulations, ensuring a safe and healthy laboratory environment for everyone.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than medical laboratory assistants. On average, laboratory aides earn a difference of $5,200 lower per year.

      According to resumes from both medical laboratory assistants and laboratory aides, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "specimen collection," "patient care," and "data entry. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "customer service," "venipuncture," "emergency," and "lis" are skills that have shown up on medical laboratory assistants resumes. Additionally, laboratory aide uses skills like phone calls, routine maintenance, stat, and computer programs on their resumes.

      Laboratory aides earn a higher salary in the media industry with an average of $26,084. Whereas, medical laboratory assistants earn the highest salary in the health care industry.

      In general, laboratory aides reach similar levels of education when compared to medical laboratory assistants resumes. Laboratory aides are 1.2% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.6% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.